When the Seahawks waived right tackle Michael Bowie with an injury designation earlier this month, their hope was that he would clear waivers and become eligible to be placed on injured reserve.
Bowie, though, was claimed by Cleveland, a move that apparently rankled Seahawks offensive-line coach Tom Cable to some degree. Appearing on 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" on Wednesday, Cable referred to the "unwritten rule" of avoiding other teams' injured players.
"Typically when you waive someone injured, they kind of get through (waivers) and you're going to get them back, fix them and move on. Cleveland chose to take him, and whether you agree with it or not, I guess that's business," Cable said.
This type of transaction is within NFL rules and not entirely uncommon despite those who disagree with it on principle. Last month the Patriots claimed rookie running back Tyler Gaffney off waivers from Carolina, a move similar to one they made two years earlier with injured tight end Jake Ballard. And when Bowie was on waivers, at least three other teams in addition to Cleveland made a claim, according to ProFootballTalk.com.
Bowie, a seventh-round pick in 2013, started eight games as a rookie and was competing to be Seattle's starting right tackle this year. But he reported to training camp overweight then sustained a shoulder injury on the first day of practice.
Despite the weight issues, Cable said Bowie "really hadn't changed in our eyes" and that the team was hoping he would revert to Seattle's injured reserve. But because he's entering his second NFL season and hasn't accrued the requisite service time of four years to be considered a vested veteran, he would first have to clear waivers if the team wanted to place him on IR prior to the first roster cut-down date in August.
"It's just that the shoulder had gotten to a point where it was going to have to be reconstructed, and you hope he gets through waivers," Cable said. "He's not a vested veteran so you have to go by the rules, and we put him out there. It's kind of an unwritten rule – you just leave each other's injured players alone and they didn't. It is what it is."